I see a lot of recommendations for sleeping pads for side sleepers (after reading reviews, I'm most likely going to go with the Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Ultra), but what are your recommendations for sleeping bags? Are mummy bags really that uncomfortable for side sleepers? I'm currently looking at the Big Agnes Katherine SL 20.
I'm also wondering if people sleep on their sides inside the bag, or if they shift on their sides taking the whole bag with them.
As you can probably tell I've never slept in a sleeping bag before.
From a fellow side sleeper I am not a fan of the true mummy style sleeping bag. It generally does not have enough room for me to curl my legs. Also, I wouldn't recommend shifting on your side taking your whole bag with you as a lot of bags have the insulation mapped to areas of the body that generally need more insulation (ex: more insulation in the feet for women).
One of my favorite bags to recommend for side sleepers are the NEMO sleeping bags. They're a roomier mummy style that allows for better curling. Also a lot of the bags have ventilation slits that you can unzip to allow heat to escape without having to open the whole bag and let cold air in.
@reezo Hello! Another side sleeper weighing in here. I agree with Heather that Nemo sleeping bags are a good option with some of their newer technologies aimed specifically at side sleepers. I use an REI Igneo sleeping bag that comes in a wide so I have enough room to roll over and be comfortable on my side. Another great option is a Big Agnes sleeping bag with the sleeve on the bottom that allows you to integrate your sleeping pad with your sleeping bag. When you do that it is much easier to roll over in the bag without the sleeping bag twisting with you. I have also found Big Agnes sleeping bags to be roomier and more comfortable for side sleepers. Best of luck with your first experience in a sleeping bag, hopefully it is the first of many more nights to come!
Definitely a side sleeper, too. But also tend to roll all over the place in general, too. A specific bag recommendation would depend on your body measurements and type. I hands-down prefer a mummy bag over a rectangular, but have found that as I've gotten older I also prefer some extra room. I've found that bags labeled as "comfort-cut" mummy have done well for me personally - they have an extra couple of inches across the chest. I'm a male, 6'0, 190 lbs with a 44" chest (22" shoulder width). Bags with a shoulder girth (circumference) in the 64"-66" range seem to be most comfortable for me without adding uneeded extra weight. Generally, a bag labeled as a "performance-cut" mummy will be several inches narrower in the shoulder girth, and thus not provide much turning room inside the bag, unless you're pretty thin. My go-to bag for 3-season use here in AR is a Mtn Hardwear Lamina Z Spark. Narrow enough to save weight, but wide enough (65" shoulder girth) to accomodate my tossing-and-turning.
Other advice is to visit a local outdoor sporting goods store, kick off your shoes, and climb inside several different sizes/styles until you find one that feels good. Even if the bag that feels/fits the best isn't exactly what you want, write-down the 3 measurements from the tag (shoulder girth, hip girth, foot girth) and shop using those as a guide. Always allow a little extra room for extra layers when extending a 3-season bag into the shoulder seasons. Hope this helps.
Even though you posted this question on the "Ask an REI Employee" board, you may also get suggestions from other members of the community. It looks like you're getting a lot of great suggestions but we wanted to provide a friendly reminder (from our User Guidelines) that "only posts from a user with the “REI Employee” rank should be regarded as employee-generated content."